A strong earthquake shook a central Philippine island Monday, setting off landslides and leaving dozens of people trapped under collapsed houses, the Associated Press said.
The 6.9-magnitude quake left at least 13 people dead and 40 more are believed missing in a narrow strait just off Negros Island.
Army troops and police were deployed to help in the rescue shortly after the quake occurred at 11:49 a.m. (0349 GMT). The quake triggered a large number of landslides in surrounding villages, where numbers of dead and missing civilians are still unknown.
The Philippines sits in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. The latest quake was set off by movement in an undersea fault.